From Mexico via Belize to Melchor de Mencos
Most people entering Mexico from Guatemala choose the border crossing of Chiapas. Since we were already closed to the border to Belize, we decided to go with the Chickenbus to Belize City and from there directly to the border of Guatemala. The cheapest option is the Chickenbus, which starts in Chetumal. The entry to Belize went very fast, only the exit fee of 533 pesos was lush.
At the bus station in Belize City, the connection bus continued relatively quickly. The border with Guatemala can then be crossed on foot. After several hours on the bus, we decided to look for a place to stay on the border town. With empty pockets, we tried at three ATMs to get money without success. The taxi driver was bad and ultimately we had to choose an expensive room that you can pay by credit card. Looking for something to eat, we exchanged dollars and pesos with a helpful family in the street.
The next day we stood with our thumbs up on the road. Apparently, the Mexicans are more open to hitchhiking, in the end we went with a Colektivo to El Remate, a small sleepy village that is between the tourist strongholds Tikal and Flores. Looking for a place to stay we came across an indication that a family offers their gardenfor camping. The view was fantastic and the decision fell quickly.
Tikal National Park
The ruins of Tikal are one of the most important Mayan sites in Central America. Located in the middle of the jungle, you should take time to visit the many places within the national park. Also, do not be put off by the entry fee for foreign visitors at Q150. If you visit the park with guide, you can choose between sunrise, sunset or round trips a day. Ultimately, you can also go without any problems on your own.
The entry is high but Tikal should be given. There is much to discover, even animals, such as monkeys which cross your path, the parrots fly in the air and the viewpoints with jungle views are definitely an experience.
From El Remate we went from the more noisy Flores. Those who like to cavort in the reservoir of tourists, is in good hands here and of course I do not deny that the city is well suited for walks and watching sunsets. In the end, it is too many tourists for me, something that I try to avoid in my travels – El Remate was already much quiet. On the way south we went on to Poptun, of course with a Colektivo, which was fully loaded to the roof with Guatematecos, their stuff and the two crazy German girls.
If you are after Poptun, you will usually lose your way to Finca Ixobel as well. Located in the middle of nowhere, it is a place of silence with wonderful possibilities to unwind. You can book on-site tours by foot or on horseback. We explored the environment with the volunteer on our own. Next stop: Rio Dulce.
Actually, Rio Dulce is a busy street, if there were not as well as accommodations like our hostel right on the water. For many it is the stopover to Livingston. Rio Dulce itself has a nearby National Park and the visit to the warm waterfalls El Paraíso worth it.
On the way to Lanquin and to have been in the right place at the right time at the right time
If you want to travel from Rio Dulce to Lanquin, you can do it with a standard tourist bus. The fact that we prefer the public transport of the locals and are generally cheaper, has meant that we started the journey in Colektivo with several changes. First goal was El Estor. A local, with whom I got into conversation, joined us on the bus to Panzos and advised us to get off at a crossroads to stop and jump into the Colektivo to Santa Maria Cahabon here. In the middle and this time really in the middle of nowhere we sat with our backpacks. It was hot and I felt again like the most delicious delicacies for all insects in the world. Just before Marie could kill me because of my bad temper, a car stopped next to us out of nowhere. A European-looking person asked us what our goal would be and gave us the information that in the afternoon no buses would go towards Cahabon. Not only that he took us along, no, the good Klaus with relatives from Germany also speaks our language and has close to Teleman a Finca, where we stayed two nights. We learned useful things about plants, Guatemala and the life in the middle of nowhere. An unforgettable experience that I would not want to miss. Who want to visit Klaus and Catarina asks in Teleman for the Finca Constancia and also send the warmest greetings of us 🙂
Lanquin & Semuc Champey
After we originally wanted to drive directly from Rio Dulce to Lanquin, we had now needed three days. Also in the last Colectivo from Coban to Lanquin we were again the only Europeans. I have no idea how the other tourists travel the country, we were almost always the most exotic cargo. Arrived in Lanquin, we were stormed directly by lots of people which offer the best hostel to stay. In search of alternatives the garden of a family was made available for camping. The behavior of the daughters of the house gradually became more and more strange, so that after one night a new shelter was needed. Lanquin itself is a nice spot of earth. You can drive to Semuc Champey with taxis but I can recommend to anyone to walk the 12 kilometers.
Semuc Champey itself is a nature reserve that consists of many smaller pools that invite you to swim and relax. Depending on the weather, daytime and season, the color of the water varies. Always a pleasure, what nature has to offer.